Under del Castillo’s leadership, Charter has had about 15,000 fewer truck rolls to deal with in the Tampa market over the past year. He’s honed in on avoidable service calls, customer escalations and service calls per customer—all which are down year over year. Outside of work, del Castillo has volunteered for many organizations, including a nonprofit he founded—TEAM DEL – 1st Lieutenant Dimitri del Castillo Scholarship Fund, which is affiliated with the US Army Rangers. For those new to the industry, del Castillo recommends staying in learning mode and being a team player. “Have fun and remember what the industry looked like when you started,” he adds. “Those will be funny and fond memories that you’ll remember throughout your career.”
A February 2018 UCLA study revealed that of the 45 new scripted shows approved for 2017-18 across broadcast, cable and digital platforms, only four were from creators of color, all of whom were black. What is your reaction to this report?
In my opinion, this report reinforces the need for networks to examine whether they’re doing enough to create and expand opportunities for writers of color. With more films and television shows addressing ethnic, religious, secular, political and lifestyle topics, it is highly important to have women, people of color and LGBTQ+ individuals in writer’s rooms so that their experiences are accurately represented on screen.
In what areas should the industry step up its efforts with regard to diversity and inclusion?
While there is always room for growth, I personally feel like the industry has made solid strides in driving diversity and inclusion. Back in the mid-1990s, I remember receiving recognition for being part of a small number of Hispanics and African Americans in the U.S. who were vice presidents or general managers. Today, I see significant ethnic, gender, and lifestyle representation in the industry as companies have improved their willingness to develop, place and promote people of all backgrounds to key positions. The challenge now, as it was then, is getting people of color to recognize their own potential. Expanding the industry’s efforts to place more people of color in leadership roles also helps accomplish this.
What’s your best advice to someone just entering the video content/distribution industry?
My first piece of advice would be to enjoy the industry experience. It is a fast-paced ride that is never the same year in and year out. Secondly, keep yourself in learning mode. The landscape is constantly changing, which means we need to be ready to adapt to emerging technological and competitive movements. Thirdly, remember that paying attention to people and process, striving for excellence, and being a team player and leader are all keys to success. Finally, have fun and remember what the industry looked like when you started. Those will be funny and fond memories that you’ll remember throughout your career.